Super Saturday is the first round of judging for the Business Track of the HBS New Venture Competition. The pool of 100+ Super Saturday judges will be comprised of successful alumni entrepreneurs, investors and a variety of experts. All students who register for the business track and meet the deadlines laid out above will have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of successful entrepreneurs, experts and investors on Super Saturday. Upon arrival to campus, please go directly to check-in. Please check in at least 15 minutes before your scheduled pitch time. If you feel the need to have hard copies of your slide deck with you at your live pitch, you are welcome to bring them with you to distribute as back up. There will be approximately 6 judges in each room.

First Round Judging Overview

First round judging for the business track will take place on Super Saturday.

All NVC Business Track teams will make live presentations to a panel of judges in an environment designed to simulate a 20 minute “pitch” meeting with potential investors. Teams will be evaluated based on their business concept, plan to execute, and the extent to which they have validated key assumptions of their model. Each team will receive an email with their assigned presentation time and room assignment 1-2 days prior to Super Saturday.

Please plan to spend 20 minutes with a panel of judges as follows:

PART I 10 Minute Team Presentation to Judges
PART II 10 Minutes of Q&A and Feedback

Following the First Round judging on Super Saturday, 10 Semi-Finalist teams will be selected to proceed to the next round of evaluation in the Business Track.

Judges & Judging Criteria

The judges will evaluate and score NVC Business Track entries on Super Saturday.

If you believe judges from any particular investment firm or company would have a conflict and should not see your presentation, please contact at least 14 days prior to Super Saturday. Information regarding First Round judges will not be distributed prior to Super Saturday.

Judges will be asked to evaluate plans based upon their likelihood of actually becoming the basis of a viable business. This consideration, in turn, will include such factors as the degree of creativity and innovation embodied in the basic opportunity definition and business concept, the appropriateness of the strategy for exploiting the opportunity, the reasonableness of the plan for financing the business, the team’s ability to actually implement the plan, and the extent to which the team has validated key assumptions. Judges will make further distinctions based upon the potential of the business to create value although they will be explicitly instructed not to use the typical “venture capitalist” hurdle in evaluating the absolute size of the capital investment required to fund the business.

Plan Format

The required deliverables* for Super Saturday must include all elements outlined at the top of this page.

The Semi Finalist judges use only your slide deck and a pitch video to narrow the 10 semi-finalists down to 4 finalists. There will not be a live pitch for the second round.

The 4 finalist teams will pitch live to the finals judges in the last round and then give a short 90 second pitch on stage that same day at the NVC Finale. The Finale is where the winner, runner-up and crowd favorite will be announced for all three tracks.

Presentation Format

While determining the format of the 15 minute presentation is up to each individual team, each group should develop materials with the objective of communicating their plan in a clear and concise manner.

You may have one or more of the team members present, but you should make your choice about how to handle this based upon your sense of how to most effectively communicate your plan to the judges. For teams with HBS and non-HBS team members, at least one HBS team member is required to be present, and the role(s) of the HBS students should be made clear.

Each of the classrooms used for judging will be equipped with a projector and basic computer functionality. It is the responsibility of each team to bring any additional physical presentation resources they may require to the presentation as the New Venture Competition Organizing Committee will not be able to accommodate special requests. Teams are also encouraged not to rely on special computing needs or presentations that are exclusively computer-generated, i.e., we would strongly suggest that you bring a hard copy of the PowerPoint and be prepared to use the projector/document camera if there are any computer glitches. Very limited technical assistance will be available during the judging and each minute spent attempting to configure technical resources to function will be subtracted from the team’s 15 minute presentation time.

Time will be made available in advance to “test drive” the A/V equipment. This is not intended as a dry run of the presentation, but simply an opportunity to test the equipment. Please do not take any more than 5-10 minutes to allow time for everyone to have this opportunity.


Teams are naturally concerned about the confidentiality of their plans. There are several things that we would encourage you to do to help preserve the confidentiality of your plan. Note that all of the judges are individuals who are active in the venture community and are used to preserving the confidentiality of ideas. We have asked them to treat your plans with the same respect as those they would encounter in the course of their business.


Each team that participates in the First Round judging on Super Saturday will receive feedback on their plan and presentation.

In addition to in-person feedback after each pitch, a brief compilation of the judge's written commentary on their idea will be distributed to the teams within one week of the Super Saturday event. While this commentary is not meant to be prescriptive, it will provide teams with some feedback so that they can refine their plan or presentation style to increase their effectiveness in the pursuit of real-world opportunities.

Notification of which ten teams were selected to advance to the Semi-Final Round will be announced to all Super Saturday participants via email as soon as they have been compiled (i.e. by Saturday evening).


Most Frequently Asked Questions

Does my team have to participate in Super Saturday? and does an HBS student need to be present?

If your team wants to be eligible to advance to the Final Round of judging and compete for the Dubilier Grand Prize and the Satchu-Burgstone Runner-Up Prize, yes, you must participate in the Super Saturday First Round of judging.

On teams with HBS and non-HBS team members, at least one HBS team member is required to be present at Super Saturday (also see below).

When do we need to turn in our Executive Summary and Pitch Deck?

Ten (10) copies of your executive summary plus one (1) copy of your pitch deck (see above for details) must be submitted to Alice Moses in Rock Center 107 by 12:00 noon on Thursday, April 4 in order to be included in the Competition.

Who will see the information contained in our submission materials?

The information contained in your live presentation and written executive summary will be evaluated by a select group of judges comprised of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. While every effort will be taken to preserve the confidentiality of your plan, it is suggested that any information your team considers highly sensitive be excluded from the submission documents. Technical drawings, formulae or other “proprietary” data need not be included in either presentations or executive summaries as the absence of highly technical data should not negatively impact a plan’s assessment in any material manner. You may request the copies of your materials back from the judges’ panel at the conclusion of your presentation.

Is the information contained in our plan and presentation confidential?

The HBS Honor Code applies to all faculty and students associated with the New Venture Competition. We ask the judges to conform to the same rules of confidentiality they normally use in the course of their business, but can make no representations about their actions. Reasonable measures to ensure the protection of your team’s intellectual property will be taken. Harvard University, Harvard Business School and the organizers of the HBS New Venture Competition cannot take further responsibility to protect the intellectual property or other rights of the contestants. Protection of such rights is ultimately the responsibility of each contestant. Contestants are urged to mark as “CONFIDENTIAL” any portion of their entries that they consider confidential.

Who will be in attendance at the first round judging event?

In order to protect the confidentiality of each team’s presentation, no outside spectators will be allowed in judging rooms while presentations are in process. The only people who will be present during a team’s presentation are individuals associated with Competition administration and the panel of judges, as well as anyone you would like to invite to hear your presentation.

When will our team find out if we’re progressing to the final round of judging?

Results from the First Round of judging will be compiled shortly after Super Saturday judging ends. A list of the ten teams selected as Semi-Finalists will be emailed to all Competition participants by Saturday evening.

The ten Semi-Finalist teams will receive further information following Super Saturday on the next round of Judging.

Can people who are not listed as official members of our team present on Super Saturday?

Yes. Your team can incorporate non-official team members into your live presentation if they are there for a clear purpose (i.e. to shed light on a technical aspect of your venture). Again, given the tight time limits, focus on conveying the plan efficiently.

Does my entire team have to present on Super Saturday?

No. Your team’s presentation can be made by as many or as few of the team’s members as you determine to be prudent, but at least one of the HBS students on your team MUST be present. However, because judges will be evaluating your team’s ability to work together and the group’s presentation style with regards to soliciting investors, teams should give careful consideration to the quantity and roles of the selected presenters.

Can I find out in advance which judges will be evaluating my plan?

In order to preserve the integrity of the Competition’s evaluative process, Super Saturday participants will not receive information on which judges will evaluate their executive summaries and presentations. Every effort will be made to match judges’ domain experience with the business idea’s area of focus. A list of the judges will be provided to teams after Super Saturday.

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